ACOS - Associação de Agricultores do Sul

ACOS is a breeders association located in Beja, with 70 employees and approximately 1500 associates. It is specialized in transferring technologies to production and offers a vast array of technical services to its members including breeding and genetic improvement of a local sheep breed (Campaniça breed), veterinary assistance to animal farmers (around than 50 Vet practicioners) and livestock training courses . Acos also owns a veterinary laboratory where mandatory sanitary analyses under the national sanitary program are performed. ACOS organizes every year OVIBEJA, one of the most important agricultural fairs in Portugal with national and international impact. ACOS is a member of the Regional Network of Science and Technologies.

Infra structures, personnel, existing equipments, etc. will be readily available for the project.

UE - Universidade de Évora

The University of Évora is organized in 4 Schools: Arts, Sciences and Technology, Social Sciences and Nursing and offers 34 undergraduate and 66 postgraduate degrees. Research and Development (R&D) covers several scientific areas through a network of 14 Research Units, all of them submitted to international evaluation, under the coordination of the Institute for Research and Advanced Studies. Furthermore, the UÉvora established 3 Chairs in areas of excellence: Biodiversity, Renewable Energies and Heritage, which are sponsored by private capital holders. Over the last years, the University has fostered a close link with the community. Such interaction has been possible through the creation of working networks and dissemination of knowledge such as the participation in the Science and Technology Park as well as through the establishment of protocols and contracts for the supply of services in partnerships with Companies, Universities, Associations and Institutes. The main R&D areas are: Agronomy and Biodiversity; Geophysics, Environment and Landscaping; Materials and Surface Science; Economics and Business Studies; Computer Sciences and Software Interoperability; Social and Political Sciences, History, History of Art, archeology, Science and Cultures; Applied Mathematics; Education; Linguistics and Literature; Elderly Healthcare. The 140 running R&D projects are developed through national and international partnerships, funded by the FP7, FCT as well as by private sponsorship.

CEBAL - Centro de Biotecnologia Agrícola e Agroalimentar do Alentejo

CEBAL is a private research center located in Beja. It initiated activities in 2008 and the actual scientific staff is now around 30 persons. One important are of research is Animal Genomics and Bioinformatics. This Centre has its own computer server and has the capacity to cope with the challenges posed by this project in terms of data processing and analyses. The Animal Genomics and Bioinformatic group is led by António Marcos Ramos, a principal reasearcher and a valuable asset for the centre and for the project. Ohter research groups are targeted to study agronomic and forestry genomics, argro-food, bioactive compounds and process engeneering. This young centre was recently awarded with the Green projects prize as a recognition of the quality of research performed.

INIAV - Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária

INIAV is the State Laboratory that develops research activities in the agricultural and veterinary fields. It has the task of carrying out scientific and policy research to support public policies, while defending the national interests and the deepening of Europe?s common policies. INIAV provides laboratory services and scientific and technical support to both farmers and industry. Its National Reference Laboratories perform official analysis in the fields of Animal Health, Plant Health, Food and Feed Safety. The preservation and management of the plant and animal germplasm?s databases as well as of the national collections of reference are also included in INIAV?s responsibilities. INIAV?s core competences are: To develop the scientific and technological basis that supports the definition of the public sector policies; To promote the activities of research, experimentation and demonstration, according to the public policies? guidelines designed for each sector, in order to ensure the technical and scientific support that leads to the development, innovation and improved competitiveness in areas such as the forestry, crop?s protection, food production, animal health and food safety, as well as in the area of food technology and biotechnology; To ensure its National Reference Laboratory role; To cooperate with related scientific and technological institutions, both national and international.

DRAPAL - Direção Regional de Agricultura e Pescas do Alentejo

DRAPAL is the regional department of the Ministry of Agriculture. The entity is responsible for the administration of an important experimental centre (Centro de Experimentação do Baixo Alentejo ? Herdade da Abóbada) located in the region of Serpa. This centre runs more than 1500 ha of agricultural land and pastures. Among other activities it is involved in the conservation and genetic improvement of animal genetic resources and holds large flocks of the main sheep breeds of Alentejo (Merina Branca, Merina Preta and Campaniça). It has excellent conditions and facilities and its participation in the project is crucial, because all the methodologies to be developed in private sheep farms are primarily tested and experimented in this centre.